Market Update

Copyright, Li Read, 2022

November, 2022

November…the season of craft fairs and holiday events. Standard Time returns (Fall back, remember). Shorter days/longer nights…rain, rain/sun mix, golden leaves scratching across pavement, temperatures cooling quickly.

After a 90 day warm and sunny drought, with rivers and creeks so dry the spawning salmon could not fulfill their October cycle, everyone is glad to see November rains appear.

November also brings Remembrance Day…wear your poppy, and if on Salt Spring try to be at the cenotaph for this annual community tribute. Thank you to those who served.

What about the real estate market as November begins? Several years ago, Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands became a Fall Market. Although basically a seasonless marketplace, with buyers arriving throughout the year, there are high point times for sales. Fall is one of them. Late August to year end can be busy.

2022 saw a “six weeks late” scenario. Spring was late (remember Juneuary?). The farming community noted that the growing season was six weeks later than usual. This flat-line “pause” seemed to be mirrored in real estate activity. The Spring/Summer market was a holding pattern.

If 2021 was the year of consistent sales and multiple offers, 2022 has been the year of “maybe”, from a buyer perspective. (Maybe I will decide to buy a property…or maybe I’ll see how things play out. What about interest rate rises? When will there be more inventory to choose from? Will prices go down substantially? Should I act now or wait and see? What about all the chaos globally? Supply chain issues? Wars and rumours of wars? Will renewal of covid shut things down again?). Worry is the background sound of 2022. Uncertainty can create pauses in action.

A series of substantial price reductions took place in late Spring/early Summer, but many of these reduced properties still remained without showings or sales. The six plus week pause in activity was not about price, then. Worry, worry, worry…and worry makes a buyer just tread water. A pause is not a correction.

Lack of supply is the key to market outcomes. The low inventory in properties for sale will continue. Inward migration is also a factor. The flight from urban to rural remains a principal driver of action. Time is a component in most secondary home sales, once again. Media reporting on all markets is always reactive, not predictive. September “reports” might be reflecting June…December will give the picture of September…and so on. The bottom line: lack of supply and desire to buy.

As buyers slowly digest the parameters of this softer marketplace, activity is filling in again. A desire to be safe, and to preserve one’s capital…these are strong reasons for a buyer interest in rural lifestyles. The authentic ability to work from home, via a robust internet, is a further stimulus to a rural decision. To be “apart”, as 2023 unfolds…with its suggestion of further upheaval…perhaps makes good sense.

So…November. On Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands? Catch the galleries and craft fairs…special and unique opportunities to “shop local”. Dine out at our amazing and varied restaurants…local produce & talented chefs. Hike the trails around the islands on the finer Fall days. Try a restorative spa ritual. Galleries invite one to enjoy the amazing artistic talent. Remember the value of taking time…a softer season reminds us how to “see”. Maybe join a choral group…or learn line dancing (yes, they still do this). Evening classes offer new discoveries.

Seeking your special Gulf Islands property? Benefit from my knowledge (of trends and inventory) and expertise (managing broker licence). Your best interests are my motivation. I look forward to hearing from you.

Softer…slower…a different kind of rhythm. Salt Spring smiles its November hello.

 

 

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